First, just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Jace, and I look forward to getting plugged in here as much as I can and learning from you all.
I’m looking to add pressure washing to my window cleaning company, so I figure I better start by buying a pressure washer and practicing with it.
It seems that 4 GPM seems to be the consensus on being a good starter unit. I am looking to get a good value washer; one that isn’t cheap in terms of its ability or durability, but one that isn’t crazy expensive either. I don’t really have the cushion-cashflow of regular customers yet.
Although a 5gpm machine is better in every way, if someone is on a very limited budget than it will push the budget higher.
At 5+ gpm you really need to start running a buffer which means a more permanent set up on a trailer or bed of a truck. That mean more upfront cost, plus storing a trailer or having a dedicated truck for mounting a permanent set up in the back.
Great input. At this point I think I’d rather go without a trailer, but I’m not sure if that’s a bad idea or not. Seems like I should start out with the capability to do most jobs, even if they may take a little longer. I have more time than money on my hands right now. Would I typically be okay to run off customers’ faucets with a 4 GPM pump?
95 percent of homes in my area allow me to run a 4gpm machine off the house. There are those cases where you notice your pump is starving so I ended up getting a buffer tank. Do a water test on a few homes in your area to see how much gpm your receiving but you should be good with a 4gpm.
I completely agree with @Sharpe-- As I am new to house washing and surface cleaning, I am no stranger to powerwashing. I started a kitchen hood cleaning business 9 years ago and thought along the sames lines as you. I bought an ok power washer at the time and figured I could make it work. In the long run the thing cost me WAY more money and headaches then if I would have bought a brand new 7000$ system. Now 9 years later I have an awesome system that works great and is setup to my exact needs. I guess what I am trying to say is, think looooong and hard about what you want out of this business and what your NEEDS are. If you take the time to start out properly you will save yourself a lot of money and frustration in the long run.
You can’t go wrong with a classic 4 gpm 4000 (+-) psi belt drive unit General Pump Honda GX390. New pressure washers arrive with a 50’ grey hose assembly with quick connects, 3’ insulated gun/wand with quick connects, a few 1/4” and 3/8” o-rings and a 20% Chemical Injector assembly with quick connects. Add 3/4” ID garden hose for water and gas and go.
You can still hook up to a 3/4” ID Garden Hose connected to a house or building without worrying about cavitating or damaging the pump from running it dry.
Install the chemical injector a few feet away from the unloader or black knob on the pump to prevent back-siphoning of the chemical into the unloader or pump.
Never adjust the unloader. It is set 200 psi above the operating pressure of the pump and meant to be LEFT ALONE!
Use nozzles no smaller than 4.0’s.
Pair that unit with a Whisper Wash Classic two tip bar with 2.0 nozzles and buy a 3/8” nickel plated brass ball valve for your hose to prevent having to turn off your pw every time you need to switch from gun to sc. If you fight your hose memory or tangles, install a JE Adams or Mosmatic 3/8” live gun swivel near that black handled ball valve.
Start with two 100’ sections of grey one or two wire hose with quick connects. Two wire is a better value and lasts much longer but heavier.
Add a JROD with a 0015, 2515, 0040, 2540 to allow you to shoot soap up high and low, rinse up high and low and use the nozzle as a water broom.
Remove the chemical injector when not in use but always remember to rinse it before removing from service.
If you need any help, let me know, we are here to teach you to be independent of repair shops!
Bear in mind, to get 8gpm at 3500 you have top get a custom built machine. The biggest motor on a pressure pro is a GX 690 and it won’t give you both. An injector can’t backfeed into the pump or unloader so don’t worry about that. Still, put it on the reel swivel or a foot at least from the pump. Longer distance away the water is not as “distorted” and allows for better draw. Half inch jumper and hose isn’t necessary. That’s added cost for no gain.
It’s better to keep customers out of the repair shops by maintaining cool pump temperatures, minimize engine stress and back siphoning corrosive chemical by forwarding the education directly from our pump manufacturers.
Firefighters are among those that are very familiar with hose friction loss. At 8 gpm, a minimum of 300 psi is lost through every 100 feet of 3/8” ID hose. Add extra fittings, quick connects, ball valves, a convenient 3/8” bypass kit, a hose reel swivel, different types of guns and the pressure loss number adds up.
If you want to move as fast as you can with your larger diameter surface cleaner, minimize the pressure losses and upsize the hoses on the suction side and discharge side of the pump.
The pump manufacturers tell us not to use hard pipes when plumbing the suction side of pressure washer pumps when gravity feeding. Use non-collapsible suction hose because the hose must flex. Don’t use elbows whenever possible to prevent the possibility of the Reynold’s effect. The more turbulent the water entering the pump manifold, the greater the chance of permanent damage from cavitation.
If you find yourself replacing unloaders too frequently and your injector is mounted on the outlet of your unloader, install a jump hose between the unloader and chemical injector. A short 3-4’, two wire jump hose is worth the cost and dependability of another unloader. If you have a spring or lock up type unloader, screw in the hose to the outlet of the unloader. Get rid of the extra quick connect set. Mounting chemical injectors at the unloader or pump manufacturers producing integrated unloaders/chemical injector manifolds keeps pressure washer supply houses in business.
I’ve seen guys talk about using some 1/2" pressure hose first on the reel, to improve PSI. I’ve thought about it, but it’s only really needed for flatwork, so not sure if i would want it on the reel all the time.
If someone is doing 50 ft (or even 100 ft sections), it would be easy to swap in 50-100’ of 1/2", though, if you needed the extra punch… especially like with a 5.5 2500 machine.
It’s all a balance in relation to the Venturi principle. Are you able to reach 3-5 stories with your current set-up? Are you running off a 1” non-collapsible tank feed set-up? What gun do you have? Do you normally use a Suttner with a 3’ wand? Do you run a bypass in line? Do you run off a 3/4” garden hose… (I hope not)?